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Fingers-only artist stages solo show in Ewell
It is fingers-only for artist Nick Benjamin whose solo exhibition is opening at Bourne Hall on Tuesday.
Visitors to the exhibition will get the chance to see the Worcester Park artist in action creating a landscape using nothing but oil paints and his fingers.
"I started painting around 15 years ago, using oil paints and brushes. I found myself using my fingers to smooth out bits and it just sort of happened from there," he explains.
"It also makes me feel in touch with my paintings, which relates to how my exhibitions are."
For Benjamin, ensuring exhibition visitors feel welcome is vital and he is happy for them to approach him when working.
During the five-day show, he will be gradually painting a new landscape on a canvas mounted on the wall.
"There’s something about seeing someone do it, it’s interactive and people warm to it," says Benjamin.
"It would drive me mad sitting there for a week if I wasn’t allowed to paint. When I did my first exhibition there, they were a bit uncertain about me painting there, but it’s a very controlled process and I generally don’t get paint everywhere."
"It’s a good excuse to spend a whole week painting," he adds.
Over the last five years, Benjamin, has held a number of exhibitions at the Ewell venue, with "regular customers who come in and add to their collection, which is flattering," and young children love to watch him paint.
"You often get the mums and dads watching you, then you look around and there are a few people surrounding you. You also have the kids asking lots of questions and saying things like ‘Wow, he’s using his fingers!’. I like that people can come up to me and have a chat while I’m working."
It’s easy to assume that Benjamin saves a lot of money on not spending money on brushes, but he laughs this thought away, telling the Epsom Guardian: "I spend a fortune on baby wipes. I usually have about six packets with me to clean my hands that it’s costing me more in baby wipes than it does in brushes!"
Nick Benjamin Solo Exhibition; Bourne Hall, Spring Street, Ewell KT17 1UF; October 29 to November 2, 9.00am - 5.00pm; call 07866 838627; visit nicksartworks.co.uk.
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